by Erin Steiner
Not paying your bills on time each month can be highly detrimental to your business – a credit record filled with late or missed payments can keep you from qualifying for financing later on should you need it. So what can you do to stay on top of things and make sure the bills get paid properly?
1. Organization—Pay as Soon as You Open Them
If you still get your bills in the mail, the easiest thing to do is to sit down and make the payment as soon as the bill arrives. This way you won’t have to worry about the payment being late. If you can’t do that, keep the bills in a safe and blatantly distracting spot on your desk where you will be sure to see them (and they will be sure to get in your way) until you make the payment.
2. Google Reminders
If you’d rather pay the bill yourself (manually), set up an alert on your calendar—either on your phone or on a work calendar—that will notify you on bill-paying day. Doing this allows you to block out a period of time every month (or week) to sit down and pay the bills that are due. This way, you don’t have to worry about appointments and work tasks distracting you from making your payments.
3. Online Pay with Auto Alerts
Pay your bills online! Yes, you can still write checks for most things, but checks take time to cash and creditors are notorious for waiting until your due date is close to start processing your check—ensuring that you will wind up with a late fee. Paying online will usually result in the amount being debited from your bank account within 72 hours of having made the payment. Even so, your payment is usually credited to the account within 24 hours of your setting it up.
It’s a page of stress, but if you pay on time, it needn’t be debilitating stress!
Billfloat is a fantastic service if you ever find yourself in a tight spot. The service pays your bills (up to $200) for you and then gives you thirty days to pay them back. The fees for the service vary by state, how quickly you need them to pay your bill, and how much you need them to pay on your behalf. When you find yourself almost a day late and more than a dollar short, though, the service can keep you looking pretty to your creditors.
Obviously this is the easiest way to ensure that your bills get paid on time every single month. Sign up for an automatic payment with each lender or account holder. Set up the payment to happen at least ten days before the bill is due and for a little bit more than the minimum amount due.
TIP: Set up an alert to remind you that the payment is going to happen so that you don’t forget to make sure your bank account can cover the payment!
Erin Steiner is a freelance writer and online content producer who lives in Portland, Oregon, and, in her youth, had to learn the hard way just how difficult and time-consuming repairing one’s credit can be. Now, in addition to writing and content producing, she helps others (personally and entrepreneurially) make sure that they are set up for financial success.